Which Club To Manage In FM14: The Difference A Year Makes

FM 2014

written by Darren Smith

FM14 who to manage top image

With Football Manager 2014 announced I can feel the anticipation brewing within our community. We may have months to wait, but the continuous feature posts and videos that will be featured on this site will just build the excitement around this game until its climax, the BETA release! Don’t forget you can pre-order FM14 right here, supporting our community and gaining BETA access an incredible 2 weeks before the games full release.

As you can tell, I’m really excited about the new game, so much so that I’ve even begun asking myself which clubs to manage in FM14. Its the age old question, who is the best team to manage in FM 2014? Well the answer will differ very much from that of FM13, the world of Football has shifted and shown the difference a year makes. Take a look at the teams below, they should surely make your shortlist.

Aston Villa (English Premier League)

aston villa2012/13 league position: 15th

Were they Any good in FM13: Awful, one of the worst EPL sides to manage. Poor finances, poor quality of player and lack of depth.

Stadium capacity: 42,788

Best players: Benteke, Weimann, Vlaar and Guzan

Predicted financial status: Okay

Best new signings: Jores Okore, Antonio Luna, Nicklas Helenius

Difficulty: Good to experienced FMer’s recommended

Verdict: For me Aston Villa will be one of the most improved clubs come FM14’s release. A number of players were average last edition but have more than shone through in real life and should be stars this year. The likes of Benteke, Weimann and Agbonlahor (the latter of which revived his career towards the end of the season) could form the lethal front three, with pace, precision and bite. At the back Vlaar should be strong this year, Lowton has shown he deserves a boost in stats and Okore was very popular in FM13 before moving from Denmark.

The Villain’s were so bad in FM13 that our Forum featured a competition to see who could do the best with them, it was some challenge! But I honestly believe the boys have grown into men and there’s a great base for a fantastic save there this year.

3 starz

Monaco (French Ligue 1)

monaco falcao2012/13 League position: 1st (Ligue 2)

Were they any good in FM13: Yes, some very talented players and good finances made them prime candidates for a quick attempt at dominating French Football.

Stadium capacity: 18,480

Best players: Falcao, James Rodriguez, Eric Abidal and Joao Moutinho

Predicted financial status: Rich

Best new signings: Falcao and James Rodriguez

Difficulty: Newbies welcome!

Verdict: The ultimate destination for any manager who wants cash and the chance to make a newly promoted club big. Monaco have excellent players and the perfect opportunity to build a strong young side that could dominate European Football. Sure this won’t be a challenge for those veteran FMer’s, but I think the less experienced gamers will love managing this team.

5 stars

Portsmouth (English League 2)

portsmouth 2012/13 League position: 24th (League 1)

Were they any good in FM13: Nope, not in the slightest. League 1 is tough, Pompey had a huge wage bill, massive debts and small squad…recipe for disaster, I’d commend anyone who got them promoted without cheating first season.

Stadium capacity: 21,100

Best players: Agyemang, Andy Barcham and David Connolly

Predicted financial status: Insecure at best

Best new signings: Patrick Agyemang, Simon Ferry and Andy Barcham

Difficulty: Good, experienced and veteran FMer’s recommended

Verdict: Near impossible to manage last season, which was a shame, but this club shows the difference a year can make. Yes they are still in financial trouble, but the wage bill has been hacked, they now have excellent players for the division they find themselves and a great opportunity to build. You’ll find the first season easy and have the reputation and time to build for the future. Bringing Pompey back to the Premier League…sounds fun, right!

4 stars

Well I hope I’ve answered Which club to manage in FM14? Now you have my favorite three, we have an easy option, one for the more experienced and a longer term challenge for the veteran’s. I personally like the looks of Pompey and may have a dabble at some point, but who will you manage in Football Manager 2014?

Remember that you can get your hands on the game earlier than everybody else if you pre-order today! You will get access to a beta version two weeks before the final game release, so pre-order now for a special price!

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  • Sears

    Hello Darren! Remember me? :D Brill to see this place going as strong as ever. I’ve missed all you guys! Things are beginning to settle down now so I should be a frequent poster here again. But yeah I’m very excited for FM14. I havn’t bought FM13 at all, but I’ll get it now in the next week or two. For FM14, I think I’ll manage Liverpool, just to get back into the swing of things. Then I’ll probably start a new save with Athletic Bilbao after that :) Sooooo many exciting teams to manage though!!

    • http://www.footballmanagerstory.com Darren Smith

      Haha, Sears my old friend, loooonggg time no speak! Good to hear from you, I hope you’re well. Glad to hear you’re getting back into FM and the site again. Always welcome in the Forum and even on the Scouting Network if you wanted to do some profiles next year, welcome back mate.

  • http://www.footballmanagerstory.com/ Gaurav Chaddah

    Good post Darren, it’s opened my eyes and I think I may manage maybes all 3 of them at sometime. Come game release I’ll probably start with Newcastle and maybes Chelsea, then once I’ve got used to the game I think I might try and bring Portsmouth back up the ladder.

    I think Villa is a interesting one, a ot of young players and a chance to build. Monaco is too however I would imagine I would get pretty bored with that.

    • http://www.footballmanagerstory.com Darren Smith

      Thanks Gaurav, I do like the sounds of Pompey but only if I can tear myself away from the mighty Toon Army. :)

  • Edd the Red

    My first and most common save is Liverpool for obvious reasons but I was thinking about making it my second save this time around and managing a better team until I’m used to the game. I look forward to also doing a save with my local team, Gillingham. Just need the game to hurry up and get released :)

    • Nielsneutron

      I will probably do a Danish second divison story and a Wales save. Normally after a season with a recently promoted team.

    • http://www.footballmanagerstory.com Darren Smith

      Yeah I’m getting itchy feet too, can’t wait now!

  • http://www.footballmanagerstory.com Johnny Karp

    Portsmouth sounds tempting :) Jokes aside, I’m in quite a bit of a dilemma. As you know, my favourite team, Universitatea Craiova, disappeared a couple of years ago. Now they will start again, in the second league, but the problem is they’ve split into two teams: FC Universitatea Craiova and CS Universitatea Craiova, both playing in the same league! I guess I’ll have to play with both, alternatively :)

    • Edd the Red

      That sounds like the makings of a great story Johnny :)

      • http://www.footballmanagerstory.com Johnny Karp

        Yeah, surely better than the real-life chaos in Craiova :)

        • Doru

          You’d better chose FC U Craiova.This team is closer to original Craiova.The other one is just a political invention.

          • http://www.footballmanagerstory.com Johnny Karp

            Oh yeah, I know what the scandal is all about. Truth is both clubs are very very far from what they should be in terms of professionalism and honesty.

          • http://craiovano.wordpress.com J. V. Roberge

            FC Universitatea Craiova is the original one. Trust me. CSU was founded in 2013 by the city hall in partnership with the corrupt football federation. FC Universitatea Craiova gave all supporters.

          • http://www.footballmanagerstory.com Johnny Karp

            Trust me, I know. But things are a little more complicated than that, especially considering that Mr. Mititelu will probably lose his entire squad due to not paying their wages.

  • http://gravatar.com/peedub1 PeeDub

    I always like to try and find a team that used to be good historically, but has fallen on hard times. Pompey fits that bill well, as does Leeds, and Wimbledon in a manner of speaking. I’ll have to do some international research, but I think I’d like to follow that trend into either Germany or Italy, two leagues I haven’t touched yet.

    • http://www.footballmanagerstory.com Darren Smith

      Yeah making a fallen giant big again always makes for an entertaining save.

  • nikozolo

    I absolutely HAVE to start with Newcastle when the beta becomes available. It’s always easier to get into a rhythm with players I know inside and out. But I look forward to starting a save unemployed in Southern Europe and working my way up the ladder in Spain/France/Italy. Forza Nouvo Campobasso!!

    • http://www.footballmanagerstory.com Darren Smith

      Me too, the Toon are a must. But I’m becoming more and more drawn to the idea of Portsmouth, we’ll see.

  • Steivel Kenievel

    as a villa fan im reeeeaally exited for fm14, will definatly have another go with them with a bit more enthusiasm than i did last year, absaloute nightmare. Plus i dont know about you, but with my favourite team, after watching them all my life, i end up getting too attached to players that arnt really good enough to help the progress of the team, so im more reluctant to sign better players that will push them out of the senior squad. great post though, reminds you of what your getting excited for

    • http://www.footballmanagerstory.com Darren Smith

      Yeah Villa as mentioned are one of the big turn arounds for me and holding onto the likes of Benteke was crucial.

  • https://www.facebook.com/chai.liang.7 Chai Chien Liang

    Well my three teams would be:

    1. Birmingham City (bit of a fan from fm2011 days) – the club has lost nearly all their stars including the likes of Jack Butland and Nathan Redmond

    2. Wolves – Rivals of Birmingham City, West Brom and Aston Villa, they managed to get relegated twice in a row………

    3. Wolfsburg – Have not really managed in the Bundesliga, they look good this season(they beat Schalke at home 4-0) and basically the league is more about who finishes third anyway (first two would normally be either Dortmund/Bayern or the other way around :P)

    • http://www.footballmanagerstory.com Darren Smith

      All sound like interesting picks, Wolves is a team I hadn’t considered but should be interesting.

  • Mariano

    I like to play lower league saves. Would be nice if there were more leagues with many divisions as the English and not as many of the leagues which have only 2. I would like to have the Argentinians 4th and 5th tiers:)

  • Kyle

    Crystal Palace – Giving them financial security and taking another Capital club to European success.

    The Youth Academy Challenge is always a great challenge to take if I’m honest.

    But I do think Pompey will be a popular FM choice this year, it has got to be done! Taking a League 2 side to regain top flight football again, sounds interesting!

    • http://www.footballmanagerstory.com Darren Smith

      Yes Crystal Palace may be popular, like Swansea were this year and the challenges are always worth a shot.

  • Jack

    I think a lot of people will do Monaco this year, just like many people did West Brom this year and Newcastle this year. I like managing top teams in a top division that isn’t too dominant (ie. I find the Swedish league and Russian league fun). Next year I think I’ll do the same and maybe another save in another continent. Football Manager is just made for playing in England though!

    • http://www.footballmanagerstory.com Darren Smith

      I think a lot will go for Monaco too, people love having money to burn and the chance to bring a club through as well.

  • Dojer

    Can I recommend Coventry as the toughest to manage? Poor finances, low gates and a points deduction. A few good players so there’s potential for the more experienced managers to perhaps work with.

    • http://www.footballmanagerstory.com Darren Smith

      Yes they could be a real challenge, I think not having their own stadium at present will put some off though.

  • Ben

    I think a really difficult challenge would be Hearts, You’re deducted 15 points, have no money and are in administration, and can only sign players under the age of 21 for the first season. If you keep them up you have to topple Celtic and most likely Rangers before even remotely challenging in Europe, and if you do go down the chances are you may not go up again because of Rangers!

    • http://www.footballmanagerstory.com Darren Smith

      Could be worth a try indeed, getting the Scottish sides competing in Europe can be very hard no matter who you manage so a domestic challenge also would make things interesting.


    I’ll probably try a two club save with Leicester and Celtic, I’ve done it once in FM11 but only made a new manager for Celtic after about 20 seasons when their previous manager got sacked when 8th in the SPL and I’d already won the Premier League a few times with Leicester. I actually started a save with them both a few days ago on FM13 but only got as far as signing a few staff members so far! Ultimate aim, Champions League Final Leicester vs Celtic!

    • http://www.footballmanagerstory.com Darren Smith

      Sounds good, the main thing is to find a team that means something, they always make for the best saves.

  • Micheal

    Very interesting post Darren! I used to be an avid reader of the site about 2 or 3 years ago but football manager began to bore me and I lost complete interest! I only began playing the game again about a month ago but I am really enjoying it now so hopefully it will stay that way! As a Villa fan managing them sounds like a good challenge

    • http://www.footballmanagerstory.com Darren Smith

      Well good to see you back and interested in FM again, I must admit I go through fazes myself and have to push through as I know leaving the game for too long will lead to a long absence.

  • Bmwdestroyer

    I have a few challenges I want to do on the new Fm. I really want to complete the pentagon challenge this time, also want to try the San Marino challenge and at least win the champions league and get in the top 50 with the national team. Also want to do a save with either palace or West Ham as I have a palace season ticket and support west ham. Unrealistic goals but I always like a challenge :P

    • http://www.footballmanagerstory.com Darren Smith

      Very ambitious, but in the words of one brat I don’t like, ‘never say never’ :)

      • Bmwdestroyer

        Yeah probably to ambitious but I hope to do at least one of the first two :P

        • http://milessmith.co Miles ‘Uni’ Smith

          Wow that is going to be a difficult challenge… managing West Ham.

          I joke, I hope you can do well with the San Marino challenge especially!

  • http://milessmith.co Miles ‘Uni’ Smith

    Well I will definitely be managing Wigan & Beitar Jerusalem. I guess I will be managing my own club Tottenham but I’m not sure if it will be too easy? I mean in FM12 -albeit by almost Bankrupting them – I managed to win the PL in the first season, and with the squad we have now and a bit of meta-knowledge it should be even easier.

    • http://www.footballmanagerstory.com Darren Smith

      I have a whole host of ideas but will inevitably start with Newcastle…Wigan would be interesting though.

      • http://milessmith.co Miles ‘Uni’ Smith

        Newcastle might be an interesting option, but I imagine in terms of raw stats their team will still be a good’n despite real life performances.

  • http://milessmith.co Miles ‘Uni’ Smith

    An always interesting option you left off your list is Athletic Bilbao. Nothing largely interesting about them this year – they have a good squad. But what makes them permanently interesting is their rule about only signing Basque players. That means you don’t want to be doing what I know a lot of players do and selling your best players aged 25 or 26, and those players you want are going to be worth much much more as a result. I mean them losing Llorente on its own is a huge loss because its not like they can just buy in another striker.

    • http://milessmith.co Miles ‘Uni’ Smith

      I’ve just convinced myself… new game here I come!

      • http://www.footballmanagerstory.com Darren Smith

        And the things we talk ourselves into are usually best so sounds like you have a plan!

  • John Constantius

    I’m always an LLM type so I’ll be eagerly waiting for an editing expert to post an English lower leagues database mod. Once it’s up I’ll pick one of my favorites like Walton Casuals, Daisy Hill, Marine, or Pagham FC and try to eventually win the Champions League with them.

    Until the mod is ready, I’ll have a go with Gloucester City (for a good non-mod LLM), Preston North End (for a “revive a fallen giant” campaign) or Millwall (for a “win promotion with a relegation favorite” game). I’m also partial to Dumbarton in the Scottish league as a “fallen giant” — though it’s been more than a century since they were world-beaters!

    Can’t wait until it’s here!

    • http://www.footballmanagerstory.com Darren Smith

      I personally tend to start higher up and work my way lower down as I become comfortable with the game…but ultimately its the lower league saves that give the most satisfaction.

  • Jack Cobbett

    Will definately be doing a save with Villa as I support them!

    • http://www.footballmanagerstory.com Darren Smith

      Should be a good one this year.

  • Jimmy

    Recently moved to Germany, so I have to start a game with the local team, Freiburg.
    I was also thinking about starting one with Wolves, but Portsmouth may be even more interesting.

    • http://www.footballmanagerstory.com Darren Smith

      I always find that doing a save with a team close to home or that means something helps lead to a longer save.

  • Pingback: Preporuke klubova za odabir u FM 14 | FIFA Balkan Soccer()

  • http://www.twitter.com/1jakebrown Jake Brown

    I think Sunderland would be an interesting story. 14 new players and whole back room staff. They are already favourites for the drop this season and with a chairman who has always financially backed his managers it would be good to see them reach the dizzy heights that there fans are desperate for.

    • http://www.footballmanagerstory.com Darren Smith

      Could be, I’m a Toon fan so guess I’d struggle with that one though lol :)

  • Michael

    I generally like to start one save as a journeyman manager with a team that currently doesn’t have a coach last year it was Blackburn, this year Internacional here I come.

    • http://www.footballmanagerstory.com Darren Smith

      Sounds good, enjoy the game.

  • Adam Clark

    My last save on FM 13 I managed to take Bath City all the way to the premier league in just 10 seasons. Heavily relied on free transfers and loans but was fun and I would like to try it again.

    • http://www.footballmanagerstory.com Darren Smith

      Yes the old lower league challenges tend to be the most rewarding.

  • Varun Chaddah

    who have u managed so far this year? and have you got any other teams in mind? im really struggling to find a save.

    • http://www.footballmanagerstory.com Darren Smith

      I’ve not had much time to settle into a save TBH, I’ve been doing lots of tactic testing. But I have played with Pompey and Newcastle for enjoyment…can’t really recommend anyone from experience other than them too.

  • http://gravatar.com/durharg durharg

    i like to start a middle team with good youth ranks, and then only go for u23 players when buying from other clubs, here i can suggest Middlesbrough (championship), or Rochdale (NP league 2).

    • http://www.footballmanagerstory.com Darren Smith

      Both seem reasonable challenges.

  • Vinman

    Hi Guys, I’ve just got FM14, but I’m so stuck on what team to manage. whats the team everyone has gone for this season? its quite difficult if you don’t know the team and players but its all fun. let me know what team you are why :)

    • http://www.footballmanagerstory.com Darren Smith

      I find the best team to be is one that means something to you or one you are personally inspired to take to glory. I play with Newcastle because I support them and Pompey because I always used to like them and find it sad they fell from grace.

      • Vinman

        okay good reason. I’ve read on all your articles, keep them up very interesting. how you getting on with your career now? what team r you. have you tried any low league team such as (Skrill Premier/south//north?)

  • Vinman

    with portsmouth, any recommended players? and best formation with them.